Fulham fail to show. Again. Liverpool 4-0 Fulham

Clive Brunskill

After last week's shambles at QPR, Martin Jol was hoping for something of a resurrection. If anything, this was just worse.

Who'd have thought we'd be looking forward to the new year before Christmas has even arrived?

Fulham were little short of appalling here against Liverpool, failing to muster any urgency, any guile, any football. Significant investment is needed in the coming transfer window if we are to avoid being dragged into an already desperate fight for Premier League survival.

It shouldn't, and probably won't, come to that, but if performances like this crop up again in the campaign then you have to worry.

Without a first choice central midfielder, perhaps you'd have to cut Fulham some slack but, in their absence, Giorgios Karagounis and Kieron Richardson were particularly poor. The former worked hard without effect and the latter, though well out of his natural comfort zone, added further doubt to the thought behind his summer acquisition.

And, for that matter, it must be asked why Jol even considered signing Mickael Tavares if he isn't going to use him?

For, really, we need better. A new creative midfielder; Danny Murphy-esque would be preferable, but when do you ever get what you really want in January? Cover at centre back would be nice, too.

Even though we had our preferred back four back on track, yet another set piece undid Martin Jol's men early on. A Steven Gerrard corner found its way to Martin Skrtel who, with John Arne Riise slow to respond, rifled a shot wonderfully into the net. Away from home, this game was already beyond Fulham.

And so it proved, with Liverpool continuing to dominate. Daniel Agger conspired to miss an open goal, as if to exploit the season of good will, but Steven Gerrard was not so festive. He was found by a sprightly Stewart Downing, and slotted past Mark Schwarzer with consummate ease.

It was quite clear that, with such an abysmal first half display, and after last week's shambles at Queens Park Rangers, Jol would be having half time words. But they had no effect. Six minutes in, and the margin was an insurmountable three.

Just as we had allowed QPR to gain their first win of the season last week, Fulham allowed Downing to break his own duck, scoring his first Premier League goal in red. Having cut in from the side, with little to no pressure from a slow Riise, he fired at Schwarzer who flapped to no avail.

The away side came into the game a little but, even with the peddle barely pushed, Brendan Rodgers' side had control. Schwarzer did well to stop a close range effort while a languid Dimitar Berbatov, honestly veering on the side of laziness at Anfield, had a long range shot safely denied by Pepe Reina.

Hugo Rodallega, who had replaced a hugely disappointing Alexander Kacaniklic, struck the post with a free kick and Kerim Frei was perhaps Fulham's only creative player.

Still, though, Liverpool managed to ice their cake. Luis Suarez, who was finding holes in the Fulham defence with orrying regularity, struck home to make it four.

It just added to the misery and the woe, however. Most knew that, at 1-0, any fervor had dissipated.

Still though, January is nigh!

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